Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Cindi L asks
“How did you get your parakeets to eat chopped veggies?
Mine will nibble on veggies I put on a tiny skewer but show no interest in chopped veggies in a bowl.
I tried for about a week and gave up.
Also, do you cook the frozen mixed veggies you use or chop them frozen, then thaw and serve?
Please enjoy this great budgie feeding hack from the folks at Windy City Parrot.
We wanted to serve our budgies vegetables but we were frustrated.
We had success with a couple of lettuce products like serving up an entire core of iceberg lettuce.
I then started out by giving them a leaf of romaine lettuce clipped into a dish I hung in the cage with some water.
They were attracted to the water, then climbed on the lettuce and started to nibble it.
They did a combo bath and water for a while. They loved it.
Then I used the same dish without water with a piece of the lettuce at the bottom to lure them in and placed some chopped up frozen mixed vegetables.
I just thawed the vegetables in the fridge overnight before I chopped them.
I started out chopping vegetables on a cutting board but I felt that doing that for long was likely going to end up with a cut finger at some point so I bought a small electric chopper and now I dump my veggies in it every morning, whirl them around and I am done.
At first, they just looked at me like I was a horrible person, all 10 of them glaring at me and they didn’t go near the dishes.
The next day I prepared it and sprinkled with millet which is their favorite thing in the world.
They jumped right on it and ate it all up leaving a very bedraggled bit of lettuce behind.
I was able to skip the lettuce and just give them the chopped veggies daily.
They love it.
It is a great way to get vitamins in them too by sprinkling a bit on the wet veggies.
I use generic frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, beans, carrots) and if I have it, a bit of cooked broccoli (or thawed frozen).
With 10 parakeets it is easier than with only a couple as monkey see monkey do. Once one is curious and checks it out, the rest will follow.
Take the veggies out after a few hours in warm weather as it will start to go bad and smell yucky.
Here’s a visual Cindi
Yes, they didn’t eat their carrots until I chopped them even finer.
That’s great! I’d like to try the “bathing on lettuce” idea – – how exactly do you do THAT? Perhaps some more visuals would help, when you have time 😉
I have a cute bathing dish, like a blue globe, that sits on the bottom of the cage, and even after a year or so I have never seen them investigate it or go in it (I put it in there when I got them, as one of the furnishings of their new home.) It looks like a great idea! but apparently, they don’t think so.
One of them climbs into the little water dish that came with the cage and flutters around in that but I’ve never seen the other one bath at all.
MitchR says “Here you go Cindi”
Any advice you can give will be much appreciated!
Here are some additional “tips”. Unless your cage is wide, they are not likely to want to go to the bottom of the cage for any reason unless they were taught early to go there to eat. Otherwise, the bottom of the cage is not to be trusted in a bird’s mind.
Attaching a bath to the side of the cage high like the food dishes or even higher will please the most.
If you prefer the bath at the bottom, once they are used to their bath high up, start to slowly lower it until it is where you like it and they are still using it.
In the past when I had a lot of birds in numerous cages (breeding 30 years ago) I liked their food dishes on the cage bottoms as they would scatter their food less, but then their cages were all very rectangular with a lot less height.
But a tall, narrow cage will always work against this.
Thank you for your ideas!
I now have two parakeets, wondering what size cage is best for them.
Thanks, June S
That depends on a lot of factors, June.
If you have a male and female you want to have more room and places for the female to hide should the male get a little too frisky.
If you’re going to keep them flighted and not clip their wings, you want to cage that’s wider than taller because birds fly horizontally not vertically.
The general consensus is a cage no smaller than 18″ x 18″.
I prefer at least 24″ x 20″ but even better, I really like the cage below a lot.
The large front door makes it easy to maintain the cage and feed them.
A depth of 21 inches means that it won’t jut out too far into a room.
It’s got a flat top for adding a play stand and utility shelf below for storing supplies.
Even though it’s 2 small birds, it allows them to experience flight on a daily basis.
Birds that fly are more confident and healthier much like people who exercise on a regular basis.
Best – MitchR
Your zygodactyl footnote